July 23, 2008,
L.D. asks from San Antonio, TX on July 19, 2008
Hormone Regulation - Looking for Something More Natural (?) than Birth Control
My husband and I are done having children, and he has done the vasectomy thing. Thus, I am considering stopping the Pill (Yasmin) except for one thing: it really helps regulate my hormone levels! I'm looking for anyone who has info or experience with natural ways to level out hormone levels so I don't have to keep taking a pill (HARD for me to remember). I don't think the Depo shot or an IUD would work the same way.
I started taking Yasmin when my youngest was about 18 mos. I had started my cycle (always been irregular) for a few months after I stopped breastfeeding and went through a mild case of post-partum depression, for which I was on low-dose meds. After weaning off the depression meds, I was doing well until I missed a month of the pill (didn't refill Rx) - when my period came I went haywire, flew off the handle at little things, and felt totally angry & out of control. I was so concerned I talked to my GYN & got back on the Yasmin ..and I've been fine since. I do have a "grumpy day" at the end of my cycle, which I think I've always had (typical PMS).
As a side note, my mom has gone through a hysterectomy & thyroid cancer so she's read up on/gone through all the hormone stuff - she thinks the estrogens have a lot to do with this kind of thing. I am a very healthy weight, stay active w/ the kids & sports, and overall have never had any big medical problem - so this is kinda freaking me out!
My OBGYN has been great this whole time with suggestions and encourages my observations about the meds I am/have been on. Since my hubby had the vas, though, I figure I don't need the birth control part anymore and am wondering if I can find a different way to get the estrogen mix I need to feel "stable". Losing the daily pill and keeping an extra $25 in my pocket each month would help too!
Thanks for reading, and for any suggestions you might have.
2 moms found this helpful
So What Happened?™
You all have given some great suggestions that I will be exploring over the next few months (it will take me that long!) For those who requested, I will try to keep you updated on what I discover. After talking w/my Mom some more I've decided to have a heart-to-heart with my OB and see what he suggests before getting off the BC. I'll also try some vitamin supplements (D, B12 & selenium), even though my diet is healthy. I'm only in my early 30s, so I have time to figure this out. Thanks, everyone!
S.B. answers from College Station on July 21, 2008
L. if you receive any responses to this request, I'd be interested in them as well. I too have stopped taking birth control (hubby got a vas) but I did like the regularity of the monthly cycles. I'm 42 with a 17 and 11 year old and the doc said I don't need to be taking the birth control pills any longer but it's hard to know when I'm going to cycle since it is not regular. Let me know what you find out. Thanks!!
M.L. answers from Houston on July 21, 2008
I suffered from major mood swings due to PMS. Dr.s recommended either hormones or drugs. I did want to take either so I did some research. There are many foods that help reduce PMS. Just Google search food for PMS. I also started taking Evening Primrose Oil. My mood swings are much better, even hubby says so. I also found a book that has been very informative: Dr. Bob's Drugless Guide to Balancing Female Hormones, by Dr. Robert DeMaria. I hope this helps. I know my mood swings were pretty scary. I became this person I did not recognize nor could I control.
Moms recommend the following deals from Mamapedia:
J.Z. answers from Austin on July 21, 2008
Two suggestions: First, have you talked with your doctor about bio-identical hormones? Not all doctors are familiar with using them, but they offer many of the benefits of HRT without the estrogen side-effects of synthetic hormones. (ie, cardiovascular and cancer dangers). You can find out more by googling "bio-identical hormone replacement therapy" and find a practitioner in your area.
Second, a qualified nutritionally-oriented practitioner can give you advice about specific nutrients (diet and supplemetation) to help regulate your hormone levels. Either a naturopath, chiropractor or holistic practitioner who is well-versed in using nutrients would be able to assist. Best of luck.
B.B. answers from Houston on July 21, 2008
Since your husband has had the vas, it's my understanding that you don't need any form of birth control. You can let your body level out naturaly and be happy.
E.F. answers from Austin on July 21, 2008
You are telling my story!!! I was having the same hormonal problems...only had other symptoms as well and my hubby has had a V, so didnt want to be on birth control (I actually felt like a mad woman on birth control), but I found 2 natural ways that have worked for me (after spending a small fortune on testing my thyroid,etc). The first was recommended by my endocrinologist. She diagnosed me with PMDD and said that Chasteberry (Vitex) and Vitamin 6 were vry effective with balancing hormones. I took 1 pill a day (Natures Way, Femaprin had the doses she recommended). This worked awesome! I noticed just after a few weeks that I felt great, my cycles were regular, etc. Then after another cycle, I started having alot of anxiety and heart palpitations. I thought it might be the femaprin, so I stopped for a few days to see and sure enough, the anxiety went away...but my smptoms came back. The vitex increases your dopamine which was too much for me and caused the anxiety and heart palps. So, I have now started doing progesterone cream (from Natures Own herb store on Burnet Rd) on days 14-28. It is helping with almost all of the symptoms. I still feel really irritable, but my husband travels and I have 2 boys (2 and 1)...so how much can I actually blame on hormones?? grin!
Good Luck to you! If you try anything that works for you, I sure would love to know if you dont mind updating me!
J.D. answers from Austin on July 21, 2008
You sound like you have more of an issue of progesterone than estrogen. Depression (especially post-partum) is typically a factor of insufficient progesterone levels.
I would recommend finding someone who is proficient (and proficiency in this field is important) with bio-identical hormone replacement. They will test your blood (maybe saliva or urine depending on their particular preference. I prefer blood, however) and have you fill out a health questionnaire which together will show your hormone imbalances. Then...they can correct them using natural products.
I'm not sure where in Austin you are located, but you can probably start by googling "bio-identical hormone therapy" or "natual hormone replacement." Then ask for some referrals or ask your friends if anyone has had a positive experience.
Good luck. You sound like the perfect candidate for its success.
C.M. answers from Houston on July 21, 2008
You need to get off of the Birth Control. It will damage your liver. You should stay pretty regular because you have been on it so long. I was the same way. I started to take a multi vitiamn and I rotate a calium and iron pill. It has reduced the signs of PMS and I am not depressed anymore.
L.B. answers from Odessa on July 21, 2008
Diet and exercise are the two things God has given us to regulate hormones. Omega fatty acids and fruits and veggies are something to pay attention to. Eat lots of nuts as well.
It takes a while for it to kick in. I'd start a regimen a couple of months before stopping the pill.
R.P. answers from Houston on July 21, 2008
I have the same problem! I told my doc that he had to help me b/c my kids were going to run away and I'm going to get fired from my job!!!! He prescribed me Estrodol. I take 1mg per day 5 days before my period. It works! And it's only 1mg and you take it as needed. Ask your doc about that. Good luck!
M.T. answers from San Antonio on July 20, 2008
Oil of Evening Primrose and Flax Seed Oil has helped me regulate and reduce breast tenderness.